Helping the Government win the War Against Terrorism

Helping the Government win the War Against Terrorism
 
David Burton 2006

 

An article by Virginia Buckingham in the May 16, 2006 edition of the Boston Herald caught my attention. Her article supported the alleged collection of telephone calling data by the National Security Agency (NSA). Herein is my own opinion and position on the issue.

First, let me tell the NSA and any telephone company with which I do business: You have my permission and my blessing to collect any and all information on my telephone calling that may help the government to catch and prosecute any terrorists.

Second, to any telephone company with which I do business: Should you fail to offer any and all support to our government that would help to prevent another terrorist attack on this country, I would find such action reprehensible and would support any party that might be harmed by such a terrorist attack in bringing suit against you.

I have nothing to hide and will not be harmed if the government wants to find out who I call. While I also have nothing to hide should the government want to listen in to my telephone conversations, I can understand that many would be offended by such eavesdropping without appropriate court authorization. However, to my knowledge, nobody has accused the NSA or any other government agency of such eavesdropping without a court order. Realistically, the government does not have anywhere enough people to listen in to all the telephone conversations that take place in this country. Furthermore, the government has never said that it is intercepting purely domestic telephone traffic. What it has said is that it may have intercepted telephone traffic to or from known terrorist organizations and members.

If the government has been collecting data on telephone calls, does this constitute a violation of the constitution's protection of privacy? Many would say no, since only data and not personal conversations are involved. I would also contend that the government has a right and an obligation to collect all relevant data to protect its citizens and to prevent terrorist attacks against America.

Is the ACLU law suit against the telephone companies for allegedly providing calling data to the government motivated by concern over violation of the rights of America's citizens or is it motivated by the potential for large financial gains by the lawyers filing the suit? If the government did not do everything in its power to prevent terrorist attacks and to catch and punish those who kill innocent civilians, would the ACLU file a suit against the government for not meeting its obligations to protect our citizenry?

For all of you out there who are outraged by the possibility that the government may be doing its outmost to apprehend the 9/11 murderers and to protect you from further attacks, what do you have to fear from the government possibly finding out who you are calling or who is calling you? Should the government tell you (and our enemies) ahead of time what they will be doing in the war on terrorism? Should all of the efforts of the NSA, CIA, FBI, etc., be described to those they are fighting? Should we tie the hands of these agencies as they try to do their jobs?

Rather than hinder the government's efforts, I want to help our government win the war against terrorism. If our men and women in uniform can put their lives on the line to fight the terrorists, the least I can do is to accept the government finding out who I call and who calls me.

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References:

Reach out and thank your phone provider, Virginia Buckingham, Boston Herald, Pg. 25, May 16, 2006.
 

  18 May 2006 {Article 15; Govt_03}    
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